What makes us human? What makes us human is our curiosity and constant evolution. What makes us human is the ability to create social categories and to form opinions. Abstract emotions including love, thought and creativity are what make us human. In 1984, George Orwell uses his dystopia to show that if we were to abolish these abstract emotions we would cease to be human and become the simple primates we once were; surviving for the sake of survival. Orwell uses Winston and Julia’s relationship to show the power of the human emotion of love.
Winston is a pessimistic man that has nothing to live for except for life itself, until he meets a love interest; Julia. Orwell narrates “At the sight of the words I love you the desire to stay alive had welled up in him, and the taking of minor risks suddenly seemed stupid” (91). Winston is completely changed by the simple words “I love you”. For a brief second he feels “the desire to stay alive” because he feels love.
His whole purpose of survival is changed. Without this incident he would have kept struggling to survive for nothing but survival.
In another instance, after Winston is captured and going though mental reconstruction he goes into room 101. Winston screams frantically, “Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones” (33). Winston is at a physiological point break due to the intense torture to where he will sacrifice his love for survival. Winston says not only to “do it to Julia! ”, but to “strip he to the bones” so he does not have to go through the intense torture. He exchanges his love and his humanity in order to survive, and therefore ceases being human.
Orwell shows how the limiting of creativity takes away from our humanity. In the golden country Winston is lying down enjoying the ambience. Orwell illustrates, “But by degrees the flood of music drove all speculations out of his mind…he stopped thinking and merely felt” (103). Winston is not accustomed to creativity, such as music. Here he is lying down taking in the warmth of the sun and enjoying music. Humans naturally enjoy the arts, like music; it’s what makes us human. That simple act of letting the “flood f music drove[ive] all speculations out of his mind” proves that he is human; on the contrary the restriction of the arts takes away part of his humanity. Orwell creates a whole language to show how the importance of knowledge and creativity is to humanity. Orwell explains, “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible” (246). The main goal of Newspeak is to limit thought and creativity; “to make all other modes of thought impossible”.
This means that the “purpose of Newspeak” is dehumanization, because it is taking away the processes of thought. Language is the base of all humanity, without it we would not be anywhere near to where we are now. We use language for not only for simple commanding acts, but also to express ourselves. If you take away the ability to express ideas and opinions you are also eradicating the bases that humanity is built on. George Orwell uses the indoctrinated outer party members to show the effects of dehumanization by controlling the mind.
In one situation, Winston and Julia are talking about his mother when Julia dozes off. Orwell narrates, “The terrible thing that the Party had done was to persuade you that mere impulses, mere feelings, were of no account, while at the same time robbing you of all power over the material world” (136). Orwell is stating that the party convinces that your emotions are nothing but “mere feelings”. The party is saying that the same emotions that separate humans from savages are of “no account”.
Orwell also asserts the dehumanization of the party members during the re-education of Winston. O’Brien explains to Winston, “We control matter because we control the mind. “Reality is in the skull” (218). O’Brien convinces Winston that what he perceives the world to be, is nothing but what the party wants him to perceive. He is telling him that all that he knows means nothing because “we [the party] control[s] matter” This dehumanizes him by controlling his creativity and thought processes; they make him think whatever they want him to think.
By doing this Winston becomes nothing but an extant body; a lifeless corpse that has no means of its own aside from survival. The most powerful weapons in the world are emotions. Emotions not only guide us, but seem to control us. Emotions are easily manipulated by the government and the media to their choosing in order to sustain society and promote anything from toy model cars to large scale genocide. Don’t let your emotions be controlled or you will be controlled.
Cite this Finesse of Emotions
Finesse of Emotions. (2018, Mar 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/finesse-of-emotions/